Wāhine toa appointed as deputy mayor of Palmerston North

Published on 25 October 2022

Head and shoulders photo of deputy mayor Debi Marshall-Lobb.

Recently elected members will be officially welcomed with a pōwhiri and sworn in at the inaugural Council meeting tomorrow. In this meeting, Te Pūao Māori ward councillor Debi Marshall-Lobb will be appointed deputy mayor for this triennium.

Debi Marshall-Lobb of Rangitāne and Ngāti Rangi was born and bred in Palmerston North and brings a wealth of experience, skills and mana to Council.

Mayor Grant Smith says Debi is a great fit for the role.

“Debi’s appointment is a real milestone for Palmerston North, with this triennium being the first time our city has had Māori ward councillors, and the first time we have a wāhine Māori as deputy mayor. Debi is no stranger to local government, with her mother having served as councillor for our city for 6 years, in the 1980s and 1990s.

“Debi has previous leadership and governance experience having chaired the Teaching Council of Aotearoa New Zealand and been principal at 2 high schools with boarding houses. She has a passion for education and a real commitment to bringing people together and strengthening communities. Debi is the perfect fit for a deputy mayor and I look forward to working with her.

Debi has been teaching and leading across all levels and sectors of education for more than 3 decades. She’s held numerous principal and leadership roles at schools right across the motu, including Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Manawatū and Hato Pāora Catholic Māori Boys’ College, and is now the Acting Head of Department of Māori at Palmerston North Boys’ High School.

Along with her skills and experience in education, Debi is fluent in all 3 official languages of New Zealand and has been an active member of a number of community groups over the years. Her husband, Anthony and their 4 children all call Palmy home and all share a real sense of responsibility to give back to the community.

Debi says she’s delighted and privileged to be appointed the role of deputy mayor.

“It’s a real honour to be appointed the role of deputy mayor and the responsibilities that come along with it. I’m looking forward to starting my new role and completing the tasks to the best of my abilities. I know my late mother, Yvonne Marshall, would be looking down and smiling as I follow in her footsteps.

Elected members will be officially sworn in tomorrow evening at 7pm in the Council Chamber.

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